KENTON — The Hardin County Agriculture Hall of Fame will induct Dean and Barbara Dulin, Madelyn Lowery, Fred Rarey and Mark Watkins into the hall of fame during the group’s annual banquet Dec. 3.
The banquet will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at St. John’s Evangelical Church, Kenton. Tickets will be on sale through Nov. 25 for $12 per person, available through the Hardin County Extension office (419-674-2297) or committee board members.
Dean and Barbara Dulin
Dean is a lifelong dairy farmer and 1957 graduate of Kenton High School. His wife, Barbara, graduated from Kenton High School one year later. The couple owns and operate DuLynn Farms, where they raised Holstein cows. The Dulins have even exported heifers and bulls overseas to countries such as Russia, Iraq, Iran, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.
Dean was on the Marion Production Credit Association board from 1976-1985; a member of the Hardin County Restorers and Collectors, Dairy Service Unit, Cattlemen’s Association and Latham Masonic Lodge, as well as state and national organizations. He was also named the Hardin County Jaycees Outstanding Young Farmer in 1970 and started the Dairy Bulls and Heifers 4-H club.
Barbara was also active in the agricultural community as a member of the Hardin County Dairy Service Unit, Dairy Women, Pleasant 20 Club and Country Connection Club.
Outside of agriculture, the Dulins helped found the Central Church of Christ in Kenton, where Dean served as a deacon and elder and Barbara was a musician. The couple was also active in Flat Branch Church of Christ and Kenton City Schools.
Lowery is a Kenton High School and Ohio Northern University graduate. The lifelong Hardin County resident taught kindergarten at Kenton City Schools for 35 years.
Outside of school, Lowery helped her late husband, Steve, raise lambs, pigs, steers, ducks and chickens on the family’s farm for 50 years. The couple also grew soybeans, corn, wheat and hay. Today, Lowery raises feeder lambs, which she sells to area 4-H and FFA members. She has taught students about farm life for decades, even bringing students out to her farm and serving as a youth advisor for 4-H.
Lowery has served as president and vice president of the United Way of Hardin County and the University Club; has served as a board member for the Hardin County Farm Bureau; a member of Hardin County Sheep Improvement Association and Hardin County Retired Teachers; and is active in numerous other clubs and organizations.
Rarey is a lifelong resident of Hardin County and graduate of Kenton High School. He learned his love of farming after living with his grandparents, who farmed corn, soybeans, wheat and livestock on their 65-acre farm. Rarey joined the Air Force Reserves and later worked at Whirlpool to help pay off an 80-acre farm his aunt had purchased, which he used as collateral to buy his first farm.
Rarey experimented with new practices for the time, such as spraying for weeds rather than cultivating and cash renting his farm ground. He had to liquidate 256 acres of his land in the late 1980s after the 1988 drought, but Rarey continued farming and buying more land. Rarey was able to turn his 65-acre family farm into 1,500-plus acres over his 65 years of farming.
He married his wife, Karen, 45 years ago. Rarey was also a member of Greenwood Grange, Ada Full Gospel Church and FFA; and has served as a deacon, trustee and assistant pastor.
Watkins is a Kenton High School and Ohio State University graduate. Today Watkins farms 9,000 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and barley with his brother and son, Trent. The Watkins use innovative practices such as strip-till, no-till, cover crops and conservation practices. Watkins owns and operates drainage tile installation equipment and surface drainage machinery. He is also a partner in a 25,000-swine operation.
Watkins is considered an innovator in swine nutrient management, farm equipment modifications and mentor to young farmers. Watkins and his wife, Marsha, were named Outstanding Ohio Farm Bureau Young Farm Couple in 1990. Watkins has also been recognized by the American Soybean Association for conservation practices.
He has served as president of the Ohio Soybean Association, Hardin County Farm Bureau and Pork Producers; board member at Heartland; a member of the American Soybean Association and Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers; director of Liberty National Bank; 4-H advisor; treasurer of the OSU alumni association; the Kenton School board and as a volunteer at First United Methodist Church.
Biographical information was shared by the Hardin County OSU Extension office.